Solar Bears Fall in OT to Everblades, 4-3
ESTERO, Fla. - The Orlando Solar Bears (1-0-1-0) completed their 2019 preseason schedule with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Florida Everblades (1-1-0-0) on Saturday night at Hertz Arena.
Pierre-Luc Mercier opened the scoring for Orlando late in the first period when he stole the puck at the Florida blue line and raced in on Cam Johnson before roofing a backhand shot over the glove-side shoulder of the goalie at 17:26.
Brent Pedersen extended the lead to two for the Solar Bears at 19:17 when Jake Marchment forced Jake Auger off the puck at the edge of the Orlando zone, allowing Pedersen a clean breakaway that he finished by slipping a shot past a sprawled Johnson.
Zachary Fucale entered the contest for Orlando to start the second period, relieving starting goaltender Zach Sawchenko, who stopped all eight shots he faced.
The Everblades got on the board in the third period when John McCarron batted in a loose puck during a goalmouth scramble at 11:17 to cut Orlando's lead in half.
Adam Smith fired a shot through traffic at 12:40 to even the score and tie the game for the Everblades at 2-2.
Cody Donaghey one-timed a feed from Austin McEneny at the left circle at 14:39 to make it 3-2 for the visitors and give Orlando its first power-play goal of the preseason.
The Everblades tied the score at 3-3 less than two minutes later when Tanner Jeannot stole the puck from an Orlando defender and backhanded a shot past Fucale at 16:35 and ultimately force overtime.
Florida ultimately prevailed in the extra session when Taylor Doherty was called for a slashing penalty against Alex Tonge on a breakaway, sending the Everblades to the man advantage. Michael Huntebrinker ended the game at 5:28 when he fired a one-timer at the right circle that glanced off of Fucale's shoulder and rolled down the goalie's back and into the net.
Fucale took the overtime loss for Orlando with 27 saves on 31 shots against; Johnson picked up the win with 25 saves on 28 shots against.
1) Michael Huntebrinker
2) Tanner Jeannot
3) Alex Tonge
Colby McAuley (0g-2a), Mercier (1g-1a) and Pedersen (1g-1a) finished the preseason tied for the team scoring lead with two points. All three players appeared in both preseason games for Orlando.
Spencer Martin led Orlando's three goalies in save percentage during the preseason with a .941 mark, while Fucale led the team with 27 total saves.
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